An Introduction

A collection of dark fables and modern folklore for the modern child, with all the grisly goings on and sinister creatures that such an endeavour entails.

First of all, a cautionary warning to the casual reader. It has often been observed that many of the old folk tales and fables told to children in far-gone times were, not to put too fine a point on it, unsettling. A child settling down to bed in the Europe of a different era could reliably expect to be told tales of horror and gore on a somewhat regular basis. Often, the victims would be children, or else animals that, with only a very minor amount of re-imagining, could very easily be children. They were warned of sprites and goblins, faeries and demons, spirit-folk and shade-people and dark things lurking in the lakes, all just waiting for a child to slip up and break some moral code so that they could devour, murder, or otherwise terminally inconvenience the unfortunate youth in question.

It is generally assumed that the morals came first, and those creatures came into being as ways to keep the children disciplined in a time where there were very real and immediate dangers for those who didn't listen. Perhaps this is true. Perhaps the stories came into being not as stories at all, but very real and urgent warnings about the things that fed on young flesh. It hardly matters which. But those terrible arbiters of morality remained long after the tales had faded away into obscurity, and they never stopped their work. Some, faced with an ever-changing world, decided that there were new realms of morality in which a disobedient child could be judged and (here the creatures would smile and lick their lips in succulent anticipation) punished.

So, it is with this terrible knowledge in mind, that we find ourselves tasked with warning the children of a new generation, warning them away from the old monsters in new guises. To the parents, I urge you to tell these stories to your young ones while you can. Unfortunately, they may well be grisly or violent or even a little traumatizing, but ignorant children run the risk of becoming another story in these pages. To the children, I implore you to listen. Because even now, there are things watching you, from deep in the shadows and in the corners of your eyes.

And they are hungry.

The End

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